That flashing light that we see everyday on our computer screens could soon become much more prominent in our lives:
New generation Light Emitting Diodes will purify water, make lights that mimic the colour of sunshine, and keep private data immune from hackers.
Sounds like it should be filed in the “too good to be true” category but researchers at Cambridge University in the UK think that the LED “could easily succeed tungsten bulbs as the main way to light our homes.” It seems that not only are they more efficient and available in a whole range of pretty colors, but they are more efficient as well.
For the technically inclined LEDs are made from two halves of a special material called a semiconductor. One half is filled with negatively-charged electrons and the other with positively-charged areas called holes. Where the two halves meet, the positive and negative charges join together – causing the electrons to emit energy as photons of light.